Chicken is a dinner staple at my house, but baked chicken breasts don’t work perfectly for every recipe. Recipes that require chopping are sometime just too much work for a weeknight. Am I right? I have the best dinner prep hack for recipes that call for chopped or diced chicken.
Let your slow cooker and your stand mixer do all the work to create yummy shredded chicken that you can use in any recipe that calls for chopped chicken, and many recipes that call for shredded pork and ground beef, too.
By the way, in my new book, Organizing Your Kitchen with SORT and Succeed, I explain the different between a hack (aka a tip) and a system. If you try this once, it’s a tip. If you incorporate it into your regular routine, with frozen chicken always on hand (supplies), changing your 5 pm dinner scramble to an 8 am dinner prep (time), and giving your slow cooker and stand mixer prime spots in the kitchen so they are ready to roll, you can then add the steps below to make this a system that can keep your kitchen and life more organized. Fewer tips + more kitchen systems = more kitchen organization.
Want to read more about kitchen systems? You’re in luck, because during launch week the book is on sale when you download Organizing Your Kitchen with SORT and Succeed in the Kindle store.
Here’s how to arrive at shredded chicken bliss:
Step 1. In the morning, place frozen chicken breasts in your slow cooker, and cook on low 6-8 hours. Note: there’s no need to defrost! Salt and pepper if you like, or skip it. Add wine or whatever spices you prefer. Add a bit of water, about a quarter cup, to ensure the finished chicken is moist. If you commute, and you’ll be away for longer than 8 hours, no sweat. You can’t burn these babies. They’ll still be cooking when you get home. In a hurry? Cook on high for 4-6 hours.
Step 2. When coked, move the chicken breasts to your stand mixer bowl. Mix on low using the standard paddle attachment for just a minute or two.
Step 3. Use the shredded chicken in your favorite recipe.
Yes, you have two bowls to wash, but it’s totally worth it for the taste and flexibility that you get. Prep time is literally about five minutes. Also, we have the agreement in our house that the person who cooks dinner doesn’t have to clean up the dinner, so it’s not a bad deal.
You could throw the shredded chicken in any of these recipes for a quick and satisfying home-cooked meal:
- Sloppy joes (Just add sauce from a can.)
- Chicken salad sandwiches (Just add mayo and relish. I like a little mustard in mine.)
- Easy egg salad from your stand mixer.
These beautiful stand mixers take up a lot of counter or cabinet real estate, and if you are only using yours during the holidays for baking, you are missing out on how they can help you with everyday dinners.
Want more useful strategies and systems like this? Go get your Organizing Your Kitchen book.